Portland Cuisine Draws From Extraordinary Oregon Resources
Oregon has astonishing natural resources, fabulous wines, amazing seafood and rich produce, making it a culinary mecca for students committed to restaurant and hospitality careers. The Willamette Valley and Hood River basin offer a steady supply of fresh produce and meats that supply area markets and restaurants. Local diners enjoy and appreciate organic produce, sustainable living and alternative dining choices like vegetarianism and vegan dining.
Local food policies encourage gourmet food trucks, entrepreneurship and sustainable food production. City streets abound with cater trucks offering vegan cuisines, Thai curries, Scandinavian meatballs and Cajun/Creole dishes. Culinary students can get into business quickly with the small-town atmosphere and big-city food choices. Portland has more culinary variety than any other medium-sized city in the country.
The mayor, Sam Adams, tries to encourage the eclectic food scene by growing strawberries, tomatoes and kale in the city hall courtyard. Mayor Adams also raises honeybees and laying hens, promoting local sourcing where possible. Vacant lots in the city become community gardens, and the city encourages farmers to sell local produce at farmer’s markets. Portland leads the nation in sustainable food sourcing, small culinary entrepreneurship and vegetarian cuisine choices.
Oregon Culinary Institute
The Oregon Culinary Institute at Pioneer Pacific College offers culinary and baking programs that give students competitive edges when looking for jobs in the hospitality industry. The school offers degree and certificate programs in the following areas:
- Baking and Pastry
- Culinary Arts
- Degree and Diploma Programs
- Strong Emphasis on Vegetarian Cooking Techniques
Portland hosts one of the most dynamic vegetarian culinary scenes in the country, and training helps students find hospitality careers that emphasize special dietary menus and healthier eating habits.
Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Portland
This culinary program models itself on the acclaimed French cooking school that defines modern cuisine, but students enjoy the rich bounty of the Pacific Northwest that supplies every type of meat, seafood and produce imaginable for sustainable cooking. Students have opportunities to work at two student-run restaurants in the dynamic Portland restaurant scene.
- Bleu, a full-service restaurant, competes with celebrated downtown Portland restaurants.
- Café Bleu offers quick service for lunch-menu items.
The Art Institute of Portland
Students choose from degree, diploma and certificate programs that focus on opportunities in Portland for talented chefs and food service managers. Training helps students prepare for management, food preparation and supervisory positions. The Bachelor of Science in Culinary Management teaches human resource management skills, food sanitation, communication, accounting, marketing and customer relations, which are very important skills in Portland. The city leads the green movement, and the Art Institute offers a Culinary management degree that focuses on sustainability and food consciousness. Other programs include the following curricula:
- Associate of Culinary Arts
- Art of Cooking Diploma
- Baking and Pastry Diploma
Robert Reynolds Chef Studio
Small classes and intimate instruction characterize this school that offers eight-week programs or specialized instruction in various culinary techniques. Students work closely with professional chefs to sharpen their skills, and courses help amateurs gain basic cooking skills. Students get job placement assistance through a network of solid industry contacts, often qualifying for lucrative career openings in only four to eight weeks.
Ready, Set, Eat, Inc.
This personal chef service offers specialty classes for beginners or professional chefs who want to polish their skills and expand their cooking repertoires.